By Jo Francisco
AMBITIOUS adventurer Ben Thackwray is back.
And this time the intrepid Leeds lad is set to conquer Greenland.
The freezing snap of an ice cap will be a far cry from his previous mission when Ben completed a gruelling – and steaming hot – race across the Atlantic Ocean.
The 27-year-old was part of a record breaking team of five who rowed 3,000 miles between Antigua and the Canaries. This was just one part of his ‘Adventure Trilogy’ and now he’s in training for the next installment.
In April 2009 Ben, from Yeadon, will lead a two-man expedition in an attempt to break the record for crossing the second largest ice cap on the planet.
The ‘ENDURE’ expedition will be adjudicated by Guinness World Records and is part of his training for his South Pole bid in 2010 or 2011.
Ben plans to ski across the South Pole to complete the ‘Adventure Trilogy' which includes rowing the Atlantic and climbing Mount Everest – a feat that has never been done before.
The rowing has been done, Mount Everest is booked for 2010 and now it’s time to train for the Pole bid. In typical Ben style it’s training with an extreme twist.
Ben said: “Greenland is generally used as a training ground to go to the Poles. I wanted more of a challenge than just going across it so I want to go with the bare minimum kit. The idea is to do it as fast as possible, ignoring the 24 hour clock and to try and do it in under 21 days (currently the world record).”
Ben will cross around 600km from Kangerlussuaq (SnderStrmfjord) on the west coast to the small city of Isortoq on the east coast by ski-ing, snow shoe and on foot.
He will be joined by ultra distance marathon runner Jon Bailey. They will carry or drag all their food, clothing, camping and safety equipment and polar bear deterrents to make the crossing.
There will be no help from the outside world at anytime in the trek which will potentially see temperatures drop below minus 30.
“It should stand us in good stead for when we get to the Poles,” Ben added. “The South Pole is the most expensive one as it costs a lot of money to get down there so I think I’ll do Mount Everest in 2010.
“Doing all three has been a plan I have had for quite a long time. If I had total financial backing and if I was doing this 100per cent professionally it would get done a lot quicker.”
Ben has now gone part time in his job as a credit analyst for HBOS in Leeds so that he can focus on training but any financial help towards his adventures would be welcome. For more information go to www.benthackwray.com.
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